Committee of the Whole November 24
At Committee of the Whole on November 24, Kathy Humphrey, the City's Corporate Services Director, provided a report on the 2021 Provisional Budget and Utility Rates. The committee discussed the Provisional Budget and recommended the inclusion of several cost reduction measures to bring the provisional tax rate increase to 0.28% This rate will be adjusted and finalized in the new year after discussion of additional supplemental items. The provisional property tax rate increase would equate to an extra $6 dollars on the annual tax bill for the average household, before supplemental item consideration. The report also recommended a 2.5% increase in sewer rates, which would equate to an extra $11 dollars on the annual tax bill for the average household in 2021. The cost reduction measures that the committee recommended moving forward with include:
- eliminating street light inspections
- reducing temperatures in civic buildings
- reducing the number of hours for public access to City Hall
- reducing the city calendar publication
The committee rejected cost saving options related to the Westsyde Pool and Fitness Centre and the Memorial Arena. The budgets and operations for these two facilities will be set to maintain a consistent service level as previous years. These decisions will be set out in bylaws for Council’s consideration and approval in a future Council meeting. More details on supplemental items will also be brought forward with further opportunities for public input in the New Year.